Opel Meriva: New Dimension in the Compact Class
Unrivaled interior versatility with innovative FlexSpace seating system
Quickly convertible from a five-seater into a four, three, two or one-seater without removing seats
Minivan with midsize comfort in the rear and ample storage space
Entry into a rapidly growing market segment with significant development potential
Choice of five lively and economical engines – optimal safety – low operating costs

Rüsselsheim. Opel is ushering in a new dimension in the compact class and making an unrivaled offer in the rapidly growing minivan market with the new Meriva. Like its big brother the Zafira, this new five-seat minivan – with its modern design and the standard FlexSpace seating system – sets a new benchmark in interior versatility. The clever FlexSpace seating system permits the maximum amount of freedom in rapidly configuring the Meriva’s interior without removing any seats. The five-seat layout can be quickly and easily converted into a spacious four, three, or two-seater with a generous cargo area. The Meriva can also be ordered with an optional fold-down front passenger seat.

The key to the Meriva’s unrivaled versatility is its wheelbase: at 2630 millimeters it almost matches that of the larger Zafira (2694 mm). The difference in overall length is more marked: the new model is 4042 mm long and therefore precisely 275 mm shorter than its “big brother”. In terms of width (1694 mm) and height (1624 mm) the differences between Meriva and Zafira are 48 and 56 mm respectively.

Meriva passengers benefit in both the front and rear from the pleasantly high seat position, which assures them of a good view of the road and convenient entry and exit. In the regular five-seat configuration the front-wheel drive minivan has three rear seats, but for extra comfort, the two outer seats can be moved to their rearmost position. The Meriva then becomes an exceptionally spacious four-seater, with legroom and width at shoulder height comparable to that found in many [midsize automobiles. In this configuration the center seat is simply folded away. Even in this extremely comfortable configuration ample luggage space remains. If additional storage space is needed the two individual outer seats can separately be slid forward, folded down or lowered completely to the floor. With all five seats in use, the Meriva’s load area – depending on the position of the rear seats – still holds between 350 to 560 liters, far more than a conventional compact car. And if more space is required, the Meriva can be rapidly transformed into transporter with a capacity of 1410 liters and a cargo-area length of 1.70 meters. With the front passenger’s seat folded down, an amazing load length of 2.40 meters and more than 2000 liters storage space is available.

Additional highlights include the 60-liter, three-compartment storage box under the load-area floor panels and the optional, multifunctional Travel Assistant that can be attached to the back of the center seat after it has been folded down. It features an armrest that can be moved forwards or backwards by 70 mm, two cup holders and an interior storage box that provides more than five liters of additional space. The optional rear-seat Twin Audio system lets second-row passengers ride first class in the Meriva. The Twin Audio system consists of a module in the center of the rear console with controls for program selection and volume adjustment, and sockets for two headsets. These permit rear passengers to listen to a CD while those in the front listen to the radio – or vice versa.

The new Opel minivan, which started production in January at the Figueruelas production plant near Saragossa, Spain, will roll into dealer’s showrooms at the beginning of May 2003. For lively and economical performance, customers can choose between three gasoline engines: 1.6 (64 kW/87 hp), 1.6 ECOTEC (74 kW/100 hp, also available with the Easytronic transmission) and the powerful 92 kW (125 hp) 1.8 ECOTEC. In the fall of 2003 two economical ECOTEC turbocharged diesels, will be available: the 1.7 DTI (55 kW/75 hp) and the new 1.7 CDTI (74kW/ 100 hp) with common rail] direct injection. Like all the Meriva’s gasoline engines, this advanced diesel already complies with the Euro 4 exhaust emission limits. The top speed of the Meriva 1.7 CDTI is 175 km/h, but its overall MVEG fuel consumption is a mere 5.5 liters per 100 kilometers. For even more dynamic performance the Meriva can be ordered with the 1.8 ECOTEC gasoline engine, giving it a top speed of 192 km/h.

Thanks to its extended maintenance intervals and moderate insurance premiums, the Meriva has low operating costs. The minivan is available in three equipment lines: “Essentia”, “Enjoy” and “Cosmo”. Based on these three packages, customers can choose between comfort, function or appearance oriented options. A wide selection of optional equipment and accessories allows customers to tailor the Meriva precisely to their needs and wishes. Along with the Twin Audio system and the Travel Assistant, the Opel Meriva is also available with the “AutoVision” DVD entertainment system, an infotainment package with navigation unit and GSM telephone, electronic climate control, xenon headlamps or the Park Pilot reverse parking assistant. For fans of fresh air, the Meriva comes optionally with two electronic sunroofs. The front sunroof is retractable and it also can be tilted slightly. The rear sunroof can be tilted.

Thanks to Opel’s new equipment strategy, introduced here for the first time, the Meriva not only has an adaptable interior layout but also significant flexibility when it comes to equipment choices. The five-door minivan comes standard with DSA (Dynamic Safety) suspension, ABS, disk brakes at all four wheels (with ventilated disks at the front), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assistant. The traction control system TCPlus is also standard on the Meriva powered by the 1.8 ECOTEC gasoline engine or the new 1.7 CDTI ECOTEC diesel. ESP is available for all models with gasoline engines and the most powerful diesel. For a high level of passive safety the Opel Meriva, which earned a four-star rating in the latest round of European NCAP crash tests, comes equipped with an extensive safety package. It includes full-size front and side airbags, five height-adjustable head restraints and lap-and-shoulder seat belts, front seat belt tensioners and force limiters as well as two Isofix child’s seat mounts on the outer rear seats. Full-size head curtain airbags for front and rear passenger are optional.

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